Art School isn’t the first place you’d think of for honing great writers. It worked for Jim though, who’s been copywriting since 2005 and still going strong.

Beat the block.

Mar 9th, 2017

I have writer’s block. It happens now and again. But it’s a bloody nuisance when you’ve impending deadlines. Thankfully I don’t have impending deadlines this afternoon. So while I’ve got some downtime I thought I’d write a blog to get the creative juices flowing again. To get my mojo back.

So I’m staring at this white screen with the cursor blinking furiously in anticipation of some meaningful words. They don’t come. Actually they do come, but they don’t mean anything. This blog was going to be about ‘finding inspiration’. But I never found any. What I wrote was dull and pointless. I’ve got writer’s block remember. So I start again. Only this time I have a better theme – ‘how to beat writer’s block’.

Googling ‘how to beat writer’s block’ delivered a number of solutions, such as ‘go for a walk’, ‘change your environment’, ‘read a book’, ‘listen to music’… as I thought, predicable and uninspired. Yet there was one solution that sparked my interest – ‘freewriting’. I presumed it was something I already knew. But I was wrong; I knew nothing about this prewriting technique that dates back to the 1930s. So that’s good, at least I’ve learnt something new today. But more importantly, could it really help alleviate writer’s block?

Wikipedia’s definition – “Freewriting is a prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. It produces raw, often unusable material, but helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and self-criticism.”

After delving deeper into the rules of freewriting, I found that, contrary to Wikipedia’s definition, it is beneficial to write to a topic. So my topic is ‘writer’s block’. Now I need to write as quickly as possible inside 3 minutes (but any time constraint can be set).

Here goes.

“I am a writer but I have writer’s block. I get it every so often and it’s a pain in the arse. Anyway, I found this thing called freewriting and it should ease my pain. I hope it does. If it does not then this article has been a complete waste of time. Timewasting is not good. Timewasting sucks. But then sometimes it’s good to waste time and just do nothing. Well, do something like read a book or watch a movie. But is that timewasting? Now I’ve gone off on a tangent. Focus. These are words about writer’s block and the best way to beat it. I don’t know if I will beat it and not sure what the outcome will be but already I’m finding this quite therapeutic. I may even write another freewriting thing after this one. OK. That’s my 3 minutes almost up, I’m a slow typer. Stop. Done.”

There we have it. My first ever shot at freewriting. It’s certainly liberating. It’s even helped my writer’s block, I mean, I’ve got an OK blog out of it. I’M CURED. For now.

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